The Hustler

William F Hostetler

This dandy cabinet card was discovered in Goshen, Indiana.  The sitter screamed, “Take me home! I’m bold and interesting!”

William Francis Hostetler, born in La Paz, Indiana in 1870,  was a hustler, in a good way.  He was an enterprising person, determined to succeed, a real go-getter.

hustlermention
Business Educator, 1912

Which is why I was surprised to find that William’s death certificate listed his only occupation as a farmer.  I’m sure he would have been surprised as well, and disappointed, considering he spent the majority of his adult life as a teacher.  In addition, for quite a few years, while also teaching, he sold insurance for the New York Life Insurance Company, and he was self employed, offering penmanship services for individuals and businesses.

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Until the serpent crossed her path

I picked up these old photos from a wonderful shop on etsy, The Wurdeman Studio.  If you love old things, especially photos and jewelry, take a moment to check it out.

blog HELTON James and HIBBS John

The back of this cabinet card photo reads, “J.W. Helton & J.W. Hibbs, Unionville, Mo, Age 27 & 30.”  James Helton and John Hibbs grew up together in Unionville.  The posing of the two men made me think of a best man helping a groom get ready for his big day. However, according to the ages, this photo would have been taken in 1895.  James, on the left, first married Cerula Caster in 1897 and then married newly turned 18 year old Emma Josephine Severs in 1899.

blog HELTON James and unknown Helton or Hibbs

I believe this second image was captured about 1890.  The man sitting is identified as James Helton, and appears to be in his early twenties.  The back identifies the man standing, only as “Helton.”  James had brothers who would have been 24 and 18 at the time.  However, I think the second man in this photo looks an awful lot like John W. Hibbs.

Trigger Warning: This post contains descriptions of domestic and sexual violence.

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Davie’s Snap Shot

Davie Palmer
This photo was found in a shop in Defiance, Ohio.  The name Davie Palmer is scrawled on the back.  The photographer was Pinder in Garrett, Indiana.

David Palmer was born in 1875 and lived in Richland township, a small community near Garrett.  He worked as a railroad section hand, never married and died, aged 45, of sudden heart trouble.

Sources:
Census records
Find A Grave
World War I Draft Registration

 

 

The Best Deductions

C W and Laura Brown

These were some of the first old photos I picked up when I began collecting.  The green and dark brown cabinet card mounts are especially attractive and I love how crisp and richly saturated the images have remained after more than 130 years.

All the photos were taken at the same studio, Mast, in Marshall, Michigan, but only the photo of the couple has writing on the reverse.  The youngest girl is wearing what appears to be the same, or a very similar, necklace as the woman.  While I typically do not buy photos without some attribution, the previous observations, as well as the fact that the girls look to be either sisters or the same person, led me to purchase all of them, as I wanted to keep the photos together.

blog-brown-child-2blog-brown-child-1The notations on the back of the couple’s card have something that I’ve come to relish in a find…a date.  I quickly realized that photos with dates, even if they have no name, are a wonderful thing to have in a collection, as you can put the sitters’ fashions, hairstyles, and accessories with that moment in time. There are many wonderful guides that provide tips for dating photos in this manner, and I often refer to my 19th Century Card Photos Kwik Guide by Gary W. Clark when looking for clues, but, having actual examples in my own collection is priceless to me.

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The Two Wives

John and Melissa Bennett Beck

I picked up this carte de visite, also known as a cdv, at the Markle Antique Mall in Markle, Indiana.  The words John Beck & wife were penned above the sitters’ heads. Based on the wife’s fashion and hairstyle, I loosely date the cdv to the 1870s.

John Beck had two wives…no, not at the same time.  But, two wives meant that I needed to gather as many pieces of the puzzle as possible in order to know which of John’s wives sat for this photograph.

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The gang’s almost all here

John William Stuck
John William Stuck

I discovered these photos in a shop in Warsaw, Indiana.  Although the gentleman sitter has his name, John William Stuck, written on the back of the cabinet card, he would be impossible to identify if it hadn’t been for the second photo found in the pile.  That photo, a cabinet card featuring three children, identified on the back as Mabel Stuck, Susie Tyrone Stuck, and Clesson Daniel Stuck, provided a location of Elkhart, Indiana.

Mabel, Susie and Clesson Stuck
Mabel, Susie Tyrone and Clesson Daniel Stuck

John William Stuck was born in 1856 in Pennsylvania and came with his family, as a young boy, to Elkhart, Indiana where he wed Mary Prudence Newman.  The couple made their home in Elkhart, where they raised their seven children, the eldest three being Mabel, Clesson and Susie.  Based on how old the children appear to be in the photo, along with the fact that John and Mary welcomed a son, Bernard, in 1894, I date the children’s photo to 1892 or 1893.

In order to date John’s photo, I consulted the 19th Century Card Photos KwikGuide by Gary W. Clark.  His hair and clothing appear to fit with styles seen from 1879 to 1885.  The turned up collar, which was popular in the 1850s and 60s, was making a comeback in the 1880s. He isn’t wearing a wedding ring, which may be a clue that the photo was taken prior to his marriage in 1881.  Of course, it’s also possible that he didn’t wear a ring.

Elkhart Carriage and Harness Manufacturing

During his life, John worked as a carriage maker, and later was employed as a wood pattern maker by the Elkhart (Elcar) Motor Company.  I suspect that he began working for the motor company when it was known as Elkhart Carriage and Harness Manufacturing.

I should be satisfied to have rescued these images, but I can’t help but wish that I found a photo of Mary and the other children.  It would be nice to complete the family and keep them together.

Sources
Census records
Coachbuilt – History of Elkhart Carriage and Elkhart Auto

Elkhart Carriage advertisement